CWC has many great internship opportunities for monitoring, education and stewardship programs.

Learn about local watersheds, build your resume and contribute to cleaner, healthier watersheds in Santa Cruz, all while earning school credit.
We work with each intern to create a unique experience that meets their career goals and furthers CWC’s mission. Each intern is paired with a CWC staff member who will guide and mentor them to achieve their goals. Interns gain hands-on experience both in an office setting and in the field.

Our Internship Programs

Science & Monitoring Internship

Coastal Watershed Council runs various monitoring programs throughout the year to teach citizen scientists about watershed health and collect valuable water quality data. The Water Quality Monitoring Intern assists with monitoring events and water quality studies conducted by the Coastal Watershed Council and helps with an ongoing San Lorenzo Riverwalk Usage Study. The Water Quality Monitoring Intern will assist with all aspects of the program, including: sample collection, field data documentation, equipment calibration, volunteer recruitment and data entry, analysis and reporting. Interns will also assist with habitat enhancement and River Health Day events.

Development Intern

If you are interested in working in the non-profit industry, or academia, this stewardship internship is for you. With a focus on grant writing and fundraising appeals, you’ll learn the skills needed to successfully raise money and build relationships with funders. Interns will participate in aspects of CWC’s development program including:

  • Researching and participating in grant writing activities
  • Maintaining donor database
  • Collecting supporter stories and assisting with donor outreach and stewardship
  • Conducting online giving campaigns
  • Assisting with special events
  • Designing media outreach campaigns

Watershed Outreach Intern

At the intersection of writing, design and action comes outreach. CWC’s Watershed Outreach Intern will learn how to implement communications strategy to develop marketing materials, build social networks and create a constituency of people who care about the environment and their watersheds. The Watershed Outreach Intern will have the opportunity to research and implement unique and innovative outreach methods and to learn the ropes of traditional outreach, such as publishing articles in local news sources. Watershed Outreach Interns will learn how to use tools like WordPress for website management and Adobe Creative Suite for outreach materials. Apply today to shape the way your community protects and preserves their local resources and get the skills you need for future employment and to generate campaigns of your own.

Watershed Ranger Internship

CWC works in elementary, middle and high schools throughout Santa Cruz County to involve teachers and students in sustainability education. Interns will:

  • Teach lessons to K-12 students about 1) watersheds, 2) human activity impacting the health of our watersheds such as storm water runoff, trash disposal, water pollution, 3) water quality monitoring, 4) sources of water and water conservation, 5) sustainable practices and 6) climate change.
  • Support and lead small groups during after-school and summer watershed education programs.
  • Research and develop curriculum related to watershed education.
    Training and support are offered on the lessons and activities, working with students, group management and teaching techniques. There is both school/field time and office time for this internship.

Science Communications Internship

As a Science Communications Intern, you will expand the impact of CWC monitoring and restoration efforts by growing our communication strategy and toolkit. This internship focuses on increasing the accessibility of watershed science for the community through stimulating and effective visual media. Interns will assist with CWC’s monitoring program and watershed stewardship outreach. Strong applicants for the media internship have experience with video creation and editing. Interns will be responsible for:

  • Directing audio, video and image content for social media and e-newsletter content for volunteer recruitment and training.
    Creating bite-sized videos demonstrating water quality monitoring and sampling techniques to the public.
  • Working with River Scientist Alev Bilginsoy to develop content that demonstrates and educates about healthy riparian habitat and restoration efforts.
  • Developing strategy and tools for communicating technical water quality data through accessible and impactful visual infographics, public announcements and creative reporting mechanisms.
  • Developing creative storytelling with CWC staff, board and volunteers in the field to communicate the impact of CWC’s work.

Want to be a CWC Intern?

CWC is looking for motivated college and high school students to participate in a limited number of internship each quarter. Non-students looking to gain new skills or contribute their efforts towards CWC goals are also welcome to apply. To apply, please email the following to

  1. A resume
  2. A statement of interest describing what internship position you’d like to apply for, what your goals for the internship would be and why you’re interested in working with CWC
  3. A brief (1-2 page) writing sample (on any topic)
Apply Today

“Being a resident in California, the Santa Cruz beachfront and surrounding rivers and bodies of water have been one of my favorite places to visit. After finishing my Junior year at UC Santa Cruz where I am majoring in Environmental studies combined with Biology, I decided to look for more opportunities to become involved with the area. I applied for an internship at the Coastal Watershed Council under the monitoring and restoration category. The staff at CWC are extremely resourceful and taught me valuable skills that cannot be found inside the classroom, such as conducting water quality field work that includes collection of water quality parameters, bacteria and nutrient samples and conducting field observations. The internship provided me with an opportunity to actually contribute to the restoration of the watershed in the area that I live and love. Thank you CWC for this opportunity!”

— Everett Louie

Water Quality Monitoring Intern

“As an Outreach Intern I combined and applied my interests of environmental issues and community engagement while working with the fun and enthusiastic staff at CWC. This was an incredible opportunity for me to work with others who share similar interests and I enjoyed the various tasks I took on each day. Whether I was writing an article for the monthly newsletter, designing posters for events, drafting press releases or even going out into the field to assist in water quality monitoring, I was always doing something where I was having a positive impact on the environment and community around me. Thank you Coastal Watershed Council for a great summer!”

— Spencer Schwartz

“I first got involved with CWC through the internship program where I monitored water quality near Elkhorn Slough for six months. This monitoring tracked the progress of a restoration project that converted conventionally-farmed land into organic farms and critical wetland habitat for threatened species of salamanders and frogs. Once my formal internship was complete, I continued to volunteer with the CWC, helping with community events and special projects, like Snapshot Day and the San Lorenzo Riverwalk Usage Study. Volunteering with the CWC has allowed me to apply my background in science to enact meaningful change in my community and has opened my eyes to the many benefits a healthy watershed.”

— Marshall Danese

“This summer we created and presented lessons on climate change for 7th and 8th grade students. We visited the Buena Vista Landfill, San Jose Materials Recycling Facility and City of Santa Cruz Resource Recovery Facility to research and create lessons on waste and recycling. It was both challenging and exciting to find ways to engage kids in complex environmental issues and to motivate them to become stewards of and advocates for the environment. Our experience working with CWC was beneficial and gratifying and we hope to use the skills we acquired in future pursuits protecting our environment.”

— Nico Ponza and Emma Stokes